Warren Ellis XIV

Kara remembered the times when the transhumans roamed free through the biodegradable cities, lionesses holding hands with teenage boys who had the zebra skinjob, but couldn’t afford to clean the acne from their cheeks.  She remembered the unique culture that grew up around the people who had undergone the dracoform modifications, there were rumours that they induldged in ritualistic cannabalism, but when your reproductive system has been changed so that you lay eggs – who is to say what constitutes eating your young.

Cyberwear had fallen out of fashion, and oh, how she remembered laughing at the ‘punks in the old folks homes, with their  skinweaves tight over old, worn flesh.  She had laughed at their cerebral computers which had been rendered obsolete a hundred times over, why, she had thought, would anyone put unyielding metal in their bodies.  Instead of cold hard metal, the geneengineers had their soft science, molding bodies instead of cutting them, merging liquid computers with the grey toothpaste of the brain and playing with genders as if the whole boy/girl concept was modelling clay.

But it had all ended – biotech became obsolete, instead the new nanofactories took over.  Microscopic machines that build and destroyed without emotion, it was perhaps inevitable that things would go wrong.  No-one knew what caused the disaster that followed, some thought it was African Mafia with a failed blackmail attempt on the Eurasian collective.  Others theorised that it was a lone crazed nanohacker, others that it was a skript-kiddie prank gone wrong.  Perhaps it was just one flawed nano amongst the billions that were made that year.

Whatever it was, it destroyed the world – nanites multiplying out of control, eating the concrete and the metal, turning it into oxygen, and carbon, and water.  Thankfully the ‘Holtman protocols’ were still intact, so it was unable to touch organic material.  First the cities fell, then the iron cores that held the sum of all human knowledge.  With only a few books in the hands of collectors, and millions of people killed in the riots, let alone the starvation (it had been centuries since simple farming could feed the huge human population), humanity sank back into a dark age.  They forgot technology, they forgot history, a few ‘wise men’ protected the people, and gradually they too died.

Kara remembered this, although it had happened over 300 years ago – she, like many of her generation had been gene-fixed to become immortal.  Over the years her peers had thinned – the wolf-boys had taken to using their enhanced bodies to hunt sheep, and other more human prey.  They had been some of the first to go to the fire.  Then came the goth-kids, altered to become more like their vampiric heroes, they too had fallen to the superstitons that held anything from before memory as inherently evil, their pale skin made them easy targets.

In her old life Kara had been a doctor, her body had been modified to release chemicals, chemicals that healed, that caused sleep and eased pain, and those secret chemicals that brought euphoria.  She had been moving from village to village, helping where she could – but now the wrong people had been made to fall in love, and Kara had to run from the village to stop from being burned as a witch.

She wondered how many more of her kind were out there, immortals who were now becoming creatures of legend, she wondered how many would continue should humanity manage to pull itself out of the pit it found itself in, continue to see the same mistakes made.

She wasn’t sure that she wanted to be one of them.

Written in about 20 minutes, first draft, complete crap.  Started alright, but then lost the flavour around the third paragraph.

All posts with utmost respect to Mr. Ellis

8 thoughts on “Warren Ellis XIV”

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this short story…Just a thought..but were you writing this story set in the future or…in the past?

    Chris

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